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on 8 August 2017
I loved Paul McGann's portrayal of The Doctor in the single TV movie that was made featuring him. He was also excellent in the surprise mini episode just before Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary. Like many others have said, it would have been fantastic to see him in his own Doctor Who series, but sadly it was never to be. However, we do have these audio plays by Big Finish that I'd been thinking about trying for some time.

This was my first experience of a Big Finish audio and I really enjoyed it. The eighth Doctor finds himself aboard an Edwardian airship on its first mission, where he first meets Charley, who I believe goes on to become a companion. The voice acting all around is terrific, despite a bit of a strange accent from Rathbone (was he supposed to be South African?). Paul McGann himself is of course fantastic, and gets lots of lines where he speaks to himself allowing the listener to know what's going on (I've seen someone joke somewhere about how The Doctor picked up the speaking to himself trait in his eighth incarnation!).

The story itself is nothing too complicated, and features an intriguing alien race called the Triskele who The Doctor is meeting for the first time. They don't appear to be much of a threat until the conclusion of the third act and their voiced quite creepily using distorted sound effects that may put off some listeners.

I enjoyed my first experience of an Eighth Doctor audio adventure and will look forward to listening to more.
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VINE VOICEon 14 October 2012
Poor Paul McGann. Only the one mediocre tv movie though he made an excellent Doctor and deserved a lot more. I had been hearing good things about these audios and while I am a huge Doctor Who fan I had only recently decided to take the plunge and try the audio releases originally thinking they wouldn't be as good as the tv show. Turned out they are every bit as good as this, the 8th Doctor's first audio appearance is a good debut and restart for the character with McGann proving to be an excellent Doctor. The drama is set in 1930 aboard an airship making it's first flight and there are 2 stowaways. An Edwardian woman posing as a steward who ends up becoming The Doctor's latest companion and The Doctor. There is also a mysterious passenger and sightings of monsters as a violent storm approaches. India Fisher turns out to be a pretty good companion and it would be nice to see both her and the 8th Doctor turn up on tv alongside Matt Smith's Doctor for a team up and the rest of the cast which includes Blake's 7 star Gareth Thomas is good too. It's a good start for the 8th Doctor who deserved a proper tv series and this is the closest we will probably get to one. These are the stories I feel the BBC should have made after the tv movie flopped in America but did well in the ratings in the UK.
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This is the sixteenth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Paul McGann as Eight and India Fisher as Charlie Pollard. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some notes from the author.

This was a really welcome development in the Big Finish range for me, introducing us to the Doctor who never was, and showing just what great things might have happened had the TV execs been a bit more trusting. Coming just over a year since their first release, Big Finish already had a strong record of delivering interesting stories for old doctors, and new takes on old villains. But here they had the opportunity to do something really special. With almost nothing to go on from his all too brief TV movie appearance, Big Finish and McGann were faced with the task of creating a characterisation almost totally from scratch. And wow! What a job they did. McGann grabs the opportunity with both hands, giving us a character that has elements of past Doctors but with his own stamp of youthful enthusiasm and a sense of fun and wonder at the universe. It's thoroughly entertaining.

After a brief teaser that introduces us nicely to the character of Eight, he finds himself roaming around the airship R101, seemingly unerringly drawn towards trouble in the form of a fake steward and a passenger who is rather special indeed. The story proceeds at a brisk pace as the Doctor gets sucked into an adventure involving the mysterious passenger and some secret squirrel military types who seem to think the R101 is on a top secret and important mission rather than just a run of the mill maiden voyage to Karachi. As others have noted, the story sags a little in part three, with some clumsy exposition, but picks up again in part four for a rip roaring ending and the set up of a problem that will come back to haunt the Doctor in later adventures.

Every Doctor needs a companion, and here India Fisher steps up to the plate as Edwardian adventuress Charlotte Pollard (Charlie to her friends). It was a bit of a surprise to me hearing her, as I have heard her so often doing the voice-over for Masterchef! She delivers a really great companion, full of spirit and over later releases her pairing with McGann has become one of my favourite Doctor/Companion duos.

4 stars. It would have been five apart from the slightly saggy third episode. And better was yet to come with the following release, the Sword of Orion.
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on 19 May 2009
Back cover blurb:
October, 1930. His Majesty's Airship, the R101, sets off on her maiden voyage to the farthest-flung reaches of the British Empire, carrying the brightest lights of the Imperial fleet as well as the hopes and dreams of a breathless nation.
Not to mention a ruthless spy with a top-secret mission, a mysterious passenger who appears nowhere on the crew list, a would-be adventuress destined for the Singapore Hilton... and a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey.
There's a storm coming. There's something unspeakable, something with wings, crawling across the stern. Thousands of feet high in the blackening sky, the crew of the R101 brace themselves. When the storm breaks, their lives won't be all that's at stake...
The future of the galaxy will be hanging by a thread.

Notable for being the audio story that introduced long-serving companion, 'Edwardian adventuress' Charley Pollard; this is a cracking story with strong performances from Paul McGann (The Eighth Doctor), India Fisher (Charley) and Gareth Thomas (Lord Tamworth). The 'Vortisaurs' could make superb television monsters in the right hands, and the Time Loop idea, although not a new one, is handled well by director Gary Russell. Good story, competitive price on here; essential listening if you want to make sense of any future Eighth Doctor audios.
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on 18 February 2009
So here it is. Paul Mcgann plays the Doctor for the first time since the TV movie, and in a story which puts the movie to shame.

The setting of the doomed R101 airship is brilliant and the actors all put in first class perforrmances. The aliens in this story are very easy to imagine and Alan Barnes writing gives the Triskeli real character rather than the generic cannon fodder sometimes used in the TV series. Credit must also be givin to the designer of he cover which manages to be both 1930s esque whilst also being very dak.

The ending leaves the series open to an intriguing dillemma for the Doctor over his new companion Charley (One which will have far reaching consequences in future 8th Doctor audios).
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on 28 February 2005
This is where it all (re)starts! Regardless of the 'big' 8th Doctor series arc that followed, this particular audio play returns us to the original idea of the series and gives us a fun romp through history with a bit of drama and light relief thrown in. The new companion is okay but it's McGann himself who sets the tone.
The only reason I haven't awarded a full 5 stars is that the play sags badly in episode three when the plot is explained in interminable, and pointless, detail. Sometimes adding alien races and mad plans actually detracts from Doctor Who rather than adding to it. Shame really.
Otherwise, welcome back Paul, it's about time...
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on 24 November 2008
Set in October 1930, on his majesty's airship the R101, this story is based loosely on real events surrounding the fate of the aircraft. It makes for a gripping audio drama that doesn't disappoint.

The story re-introduces Paul McGanns doctor, and does so in a fitting manner, he has everything you could ask for in a doctor, and is the last of the traditional doctors, before eccleston and his weaker timelord persona took over. So there is no 'Oh My God, You're AMAZING! and so am I!' balderdash that seriously undermines the credibility of the current writing team.

McGann's doctor is well known having a bit more of an edge to him than any of the other doctor's and this story highlights why. Without saying too much, you find out on the second disc.

There is some really good characterisation and dialogue in this play, that entertains from start to finish, not to mention the obvious chemistry between Paul McGann and India Fisher. Also Gareth Thomas from Blakes 7 plays a role, but i didn't really like Blakes 7 anyway...

...This play is well worth a listen, especially if you're a fan of historical-who.
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on 9 August 2004
I am an avid Who fan that, for a long while now, has been sceptical of getting one of these Audio Dramas, fearing they would try and do something wrong with the classic Who formula. However, i took the plunge with Storm Warning. If i didn't like it, at least i could say i'd tried the Audio path.
I'll skip straight to the point: this was brilliant. The opening sequence in the TARDIS with Paul McGann immediately cleared the clouds on whether i would take to the purely audio situation and when the story really gets going i was hooked. McGann is excellent - bringing a new Doctor to light despite only one TV movie of screen time. He is instantly Who with new witticisms and a new enthusiasm for the role. The plot of the story itself - which i knew nothing of, discovering the hard way that blurbs ruin plot twists all too often. Don't worry - not on this CD. Everything that happens takes your breath away and the imagination involved is spectacular. This is a real treat. As is the voice cast. The new companion fits it like a glove, voiced enthusiastically by India Fisher, and the guest voice is a dream. Gareth Thomas, of Blake's 7, finally gets to be in Doctor Who and he is brilliant. Exclamation mark. I cannot recommend this one higher. Its a great place to start if you're unsure either of the Eight Doctor or of audio dramas in general.
Additional: the audio allows the imagination to create all manner of things to make it just that little more personal. Eg - just what does a Vortesaur look like? Its up to you.
I only give this four stars because its the first one i've ever attempted. Perhaps the others are better!
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The first audio story that Paul McGann did, just when we thought the TV movie would be his only ever go at the role, this is the perfect beginning for the eighth doctor audio range. Landing on the R101 during the doomed maiden voyage of the airship, and teaming up with edwardian adventuress charlotte 'charley' pollard who swiftly becomes the doctor's travelling companion, this is a great story that would have worked well on television.

The two leads are superb, and get great support from gareth thomas as the air minister. Although there's a lot of exposition in episode three the events of part four make up for this, and are quietly moving at times.

If something at the end doesn't quite make sense when you first hear it, be aware that it's the beginning of a story arc that will develop in due course.

Still one of the the best eighth doctor stories and well worth getting
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on 16 October 2016
Was for my partner, he loved it
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